Mrs. Woodfall’s Regret

She is tough-framed and saddened with age.
Thorn-filled and stony-faced. Her endless days
have cycled like sun behind clouds. How
has she lived, these long years of winter?
Bread and ale, and clouded sleep?

Her heart is commonplace and moon-wise. She is
bound in downcast visions that bring her back
to broken promises. Can she still hear music in light
and see beauty in silence?

Perhaps there is still summer in her. Yes,
sometimes she can feel its sharpness like the prick of
the needle that sewed the stitches in her skin
where the sun was taken out.

And then she remembers the lusty scent of lilacs
that sent her running barefoot in the raw green
and sparkling May woods. She remembers when
she climbed the smooth trunk of a budding beech 
and nestled in its broad branches.  She remembers
when she made love with the twiggy tinker, wrapping
her legs around his bony body. 

And when she dreams, she flies to the boreal forest
where conifers grow thick above glacial waters and
the white flowering creeping snowberry
spreads across the damp and mossy earth. 

She floats there on the wind with widespread wings
that lead her into howling. And then, Mrs. Woodfall regrets no more.

Gaultheria hispidula, known to Micmaq peoples as manna teaberry and also called creeping snowberry or moxie-plum by settlers, is native to North America. It can be found in the Northern Canadian boreal forest and as far south as West Virginia and Idaho growing on mossy forest floors and near dead tree stumps. Its delicate flowers appear briefly in the spring. In August and September it offers small white edible berries that taste and smell like wintergreen.

Original image adapted with Prisma.

May these words bring truth
and healing through open hands and hearts.
And then, let it flow back into our Mother Earth
for the love of all her beings.


  1. A beautiful reminder of the healing power of our Mother Earth. You have such a wonderful way of capturing the entanglement of sadness and joy in life

  2. I enjoyed your poem. The image received was of a woman shackled, head drooped in depression, sadness. But then she awakened from her depression. She raised up her arms in her strength and snapped the chains.
    I enjoyed this poem.

  3. Beautiful images. I could relate to the sense of being old and tired and then remembering my youth and feeling energized. Very inspirational.

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